One-third Italian Vermouth
One-third Gin, and then a little bit more.
Stir then pour over ice in a rocks glass, garnish with a wedge or zest of orange.
Today I found myself down in Brighton, with some time to kill in the evening so went in search of a good drink. Brighton is a funny place, it has always felt like its just a stones throw away from London, and should have similar drinking habits and bars but the options always seem a little behind, I’m not sure if the better bars in London only cater to a microcosm that isn’t there outside the M25, or what it is. Brighton has always had a feel to it that seems more sleepy student seaside than city, and has far less options than say an Edinburgh.
We wandered through the lanes and ended up at a recommendation, the Twisted Lemon, a fun little place down an alleyway. It had good bartenders but the drinks felt about 15 years old. I decided to opt for a Negroni which was made well, and I had my favourite vermouth and gin so well happy.
The Negroni doesn’t appear in Embury, which feels strange as its as classic as you can get, I guess some European drinks of the time took a lot longer to cross the pond than others. The other thing that doesn’t appear in Embury is Campari, no-where, it also doesn’t appear in Jerry Thomas, or in the Waldorf guide. The Waldorf does have something called Red Calisaya, which i think is similar to Campari, only with more spices like a vermouth.
It was invented in 1919 in a bar in Florence. The Count was a regular there, and one day asked the bartender to strengthen his Americano, which he duly did by leaving out the soda and adding a big dollop of gin. By all accounts it caught on rather quickly, so much so that the Negroni family was bottling the drink and selling it at one stage. Sadly the bar closed earlier this year and is being redeveloped into residential properties.
One of my earliest memories of this drink was working at Pharmacy with an Italian bartender we all called Papa, he loved Negroni’s, along with literally every other drink, but said when making one you should always put a little extra gin inside, which does make it a much better drink, and I would not hesitate to make that way, so the recipe above is really Papa’s Negroni.